Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome: The new Nigerian refugees by SYLVIA OFILI

THE Nigerian Senate just gave many people enough justification to become refugees. I predict in the next couple of months, in countries all over Europe, young men and women will arrive in droves, over sea and land, and they would all be gay. Gay or not, everybody will be gay. If you have ever wanted to leave that country but have never had any real reason to (apart from the obvious ones i.e. no light, no water, no security, no good schools, malaria, armed robbers, corrupt police, corrupt politicians, no jobs, fake drugs in the market, no connections, no food to eat, petrol wahala, feel free to add to this list) well, now you have a solid one. Do not waste any time. Put your slippers under your armpit and hit the desert (keep an eye open for Boko Haram though) but be sure to stay clear of Libya. We are being killed there but hey, who cares? The Senate has better things to do than save Nigerian citizens.

Oh yes, the Nigerian Senate who have so much time on their hands, decided to pass a bill stating that gays shall not be allowed to get married and if they dare do, they shall get fourteen years in jail. Let us face the truth. There are no gay couples applying for marriage certificates in that country. How would they do that? There are no provisions for such a marriage in our system, therefore, this bill is totally redundant. It is like telling me that I am banned from eating eba in my kitchen when I had none in the first place. If eba was available and waiting for me in my kitchen, then that’s another story. But I don’t even have garri or hot water. In fact, I don’t even have a bowl to make the eba in, so what exactly would be the point of such a ban? It’s as simple as that. I can’t be the only one that sees how unnecessary this bill is. A total waste of time and resources. But hey, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

I am surprised about the excitement this bill has caused in our people. People are almost foaming at the mouths because of this useless bill. I wish our Senate could be equally engaged in other serious matters. For example, Boko Haram. Every month, a new bomb and yet, our senators are laughing over homosexual jokes on TV. I would have expected some kind of crack down by now. Or is it only in the Niger Delta that the military enjoys operating? And what do they plan to do about the religious violence in the north? Or is this show of solidarity against homosexuals going to stop the burning of churches over there? Will this be the very act that will unite Christianity and Islam in the north? And if that is so, will it not be strange that it is only in our hatred we can unite and not in love?

There is much to be said about this bill but I wonder if there is any point. In a bill where "public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly” can lead to ten years imprisonment, how long will it be before neighbours turn against neighbours? In a land ruled by superstition, with the constant threat of “bad belle”, how long will it be before our jails are full of people suspected of homosexuality? Nobody needs to tell us that we are treading on dangerous ground, led by people who do not see beyond their feet.

Whatever our opinions may be about sexuality, let us not allow others use us as pawns in political games. There are many issues the government needs to face. So many young people have died on our terrible roads this year. Women are still being raped and abused daily. Children are still on our streets hawking. People are still dying of malaria. Armed robbers and kidnappers still operate freely. Corruption. Electricity. Water. Need I go on?

If you want to know the truth, I will tell you. I do not care about who gets married or who does not in this life. I have seen dysfunctional marriages in that society and it was not a pretty sight. All my life, I have seen men do as they want in their marriages. I have seen old men run after girls young enough to be their daughters. I have seen men abuse their wives and children as if they were running a slave farm. I have seen men marry one wife, two wives, three wives. I have seen men sell their daughters to other men for money. I have seen it all.

Now all of a sudden, these same men are all so concerned about who gets married?

Our country is too corrupt for us to pretend that we are that righteous. Let us stop fooling ourselves. If we were so in touch with our moral values and if really, our moral values meant so much to us as we are now claiming, Nigeria will not be in the state it is now. We are not virtuous enough to talk about moral values. Definitely our Senate should be the last place where morality should be discussed. No, let those who have clean hands come forth and speak, otherwise, everybody should keep quiet and stop the hypocrisy.

slyofili@yahoo.com

Author of this article culled from The Guardian: BY SYLVIA OFILI

3 comments:

'Lara said...

This post say it all. Our people have become pawns and are not looking beyond the now, to realize this bill is just a way to divert their attention from the serious things happening in the nation.

SHE said...

It just goes to show how totally our priorities have been misplaced. There are far more important challenges facing the country than who sleeps with who. But then, I guess homosexuality is a "stay awake" issue for our clueless law makers!

BT Ayeni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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